Sunday, July 18, 2010

Sunday July 18th, 2010 - HOT!

Wow it was hot this weekend up at the hill.... 102 degrees on Sat. But I did a cool picture of a skink, a "Plestiodon skiltonianus skiltonianus - Skilton's Skink" to be exact.

I was working on the watering again and saw this lizard running across the driveway and since I had my camera I followed it and took some pictures. Notice the bright blue tale? This is a juvenile according to the website where i was able to identify it...

http://www.californiaherps.com/lizards/pages/p.s.skiltonianus.html

And it seriously made me think what the heck is that?!

The last of the wildflowers is a rudebeckia or black-eyed susan. It is blooming there in the midst of all the other dried out wildflower plants.

I fixed the sprinklers and now i can water this area when I figure out what I want to do here.

Nick's sunflowers are doing well and one is starting to bloom...now if we can keep the deer from eating it, that would a feat.

Saturday I went to the Hotel Leger in Moke Hill for dinner at the bar. Apparently it is the place for the social scene in that little town. The night before it was packed and partiers were going to 2am with a band and even a fight! 

http://www.hotelleger.com/

I may try to go next weekend and see if they have a band... seems like a fun place! I am hoping next weekend will not be so hot as it is hard to be motivated to do anything when it is like that. Casey and I went to bed really early because we were so tired after working on the weeds and watering.

 

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Our Family Vacation - Carlsbad, CA July 5-9, 2010

Every couple of years, my family takes a vacation together. This time we went to Carlsbad, CA which is famous for Legoland and being near the beaches. It is just north of San Diego about 30 mins and is usually just sunny and great. Not this week... we were there during the coldest July week they have had in a long time. In fact on July 8th, it broke a record that was held since 1912... high was 64 degrees! 
We did go to the beach one day and froze our tushes off for about 1 hour... and then went and did other things.
The first day there, we went to the San Diego Zoo and that is just amazing! On Weds, Nick and Ashley went to Disneyland while Dad, Matt, Jacob and I went fishing. Jacob was the big winner and reeled in a bunch of mackerel. Dad and Matt got some too while I got skunked! But it was a fun time! I like being on the ocean even if I don't catch anything. One thing I found out was that they have not been catching much fish this year and what they are catching is on the small side. It is a little worrisome because there does seem to be something going on with the oceans...
On weds afternoon there was a nice size earthquake that hit the area.. it was actually an aftershock to the big one that happened on Easter sunday in Mexico. It was a different kind of rolling earthquake, not a jarring one that I get up here in Moraga. Unfortunately, Disneyland shut the rides down afterwards for safety inspection and the kids had to come home. Grumpy Nick came back when I would have preferred Happy to come back.
Thursday was the beach day and no real schedule day... The kids and I went shopping at the outlet center and I got a great deal on a Coach purse. Just amazing! I will never pay full retail again...


Here are the pictures that I took is some kind of order to the days... First set is the San Diego Zoo pictures.




This was the break we had to take in the middle of the day.. notice Nick stealing the Dibs from Laine while she is looking at the camera.


Next up is the fishing trip.. We went out on a boat from H&M Landing, called the Premiere and it was a really fun time. The boat could hold about 90 people but there was probably only 35-40 on it for this trip. The crew was fantastic and really nice to people like me who had difficulty with skewering the anchovies to the hook. In fact, after dropping probably my 10th one in the water, Jacob announced to everyone that I was a bad hooker! We had to get up early but it was fun...I would do it again if I was a better hooker next time!

 Taking on the bait fish------>










Dad's big fish --------->











One of Jacob's fish he caught.

The fish were scared of these guys!

Jacob loved playing with the bait fish and throwing them to the sea gulls that followed the boat.




When we got home we played a game called apples to apples that everyone got into..
 
Notice the intensity at the table..

Thursday we went to the beach for a bit and froze our toes off...

 

Denise and Laine are under the sun shelter trying to keep warm... 
Even with the weather as dreary as it was, we had a good time... I like spending time with them because it seems everyone is going so fast these days...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Lizards of the Glory Hole !

I looked at my camera and saw that I took a bunch of pictures of the lizards that are running around up there right now.. and even a video of one that was trying to challenge me. I like anything that eats the things that I don't like. That is why I like snakes, because they eat gophers, mice and rats which I loathe. And lizards, besides being entertaining to watch when they are chasing each other around, eat bugs. We have biting flies, wasps and mosquitos there and I hate them, so I love lizards!
What is that saying? 
"The enemy of my enemy is my friend" Sun Tzu

Here are my lizard pictures...



Check out the video on youtube to see the big boss lizard trying to scare me away from his woodpile...

HAPPY 4th OF JULY!!

It has been a really long time since I posted anything.. but life just got in the way... 


After Nick's graduation weekend - came my Mom's 38th birthday weekend which was also the same weekend as father's day... So I went to visit them and get my haircut.


The next weekend was my birthday weekend and since my mom is 38 that makes me... 14! Yuck... don't want that... I finally got to the house that weekend but came back to quarter end craziness and no time to update anyone. 


I had Friday off from work and drove up there that morning. I got a landscape contractor to rebuild that retaining wall in the garden area and he was going to finish up on Sat. I have lots of pictures of the wall, lizards, bugs and birds.


The area were the wall was built was cleaned out and that included a debris pile of rotting landscape timbers that was home to lots of lizards. They have now moved to the wood piles and I think there are at least 30-50 around my house. I remember last fall seeing dozens of 1-2 inch long baby lizards and the wet winter must have been good for them. I am okay with lizards because they eat the bugs.. of which we have some good ones.

Like what the heck is this? It was dead but at least 2 inches long and just yuck!


Butterfly in the weeds... we have lots of these.






What kind of moth is this?






Let's move on to the baby goats! Next door neighbor's goats have had babies and they are so cute...
 When we were leaving town we stopped at Hawg Dawg's Valley Springs for lunch and I parked next to the ugliest car I have seen in a long time.. AMC Gremlin. I had to take a picture of it..
Can you imagine owning this? Don't want to get in an accident, it might just fall apart like a cartoon car!

Plants! 

Nick's sunflower's are growing and trying to dodge the deer- one was chewed up pretty bad.

Mom's Sweetpeas! My mom put some sweetpea seeds along the fence and 3 of them bloomed. I saved the seeds from them.


Wildflowers in my front "yard" are still showing up and surprising me...


And shockingly, I have fruit on some of the trees! They are some kind of plum trees and since I don't eat plums, I am okay with the birds getting them. Which they do..


The Wall.... I love this thing.. and once I can decide what to grow there it will be great!
This was after they had removed everything and poured the concrete footing. Because it is such a steep grade you can't just use a sand or gravel base. Everything will slide... 
The outline is a half circle..

You can really see the grade of the slope here...
Pretty wall.... the guy who built it is a landscape contractor from Valley Springs who was at minimum 70 years old. Heavy smoker.. but he did a great job! They weeded as well for me so that I could get my drip lines fixed and on a timer. It is finally getting hot and I want to not stress out the trees like they have been.

I will do a separate post on all my lizard pictures.. even did a you tube of one of them.. they are a hoot.